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Day of Reckoning in Appalachia: Legendary Coal Miner Calls for "Insane" Mountaintop Removal to End


Day of Reckoning in Appalachia: Legendary Coal Miner Calls for "Insane" Mountaintop Removal to End

Jeff Biggers

With mountaintop removal mining on the ropes, as the last bank financiers ditch lending support amid new scientific research that demonstrates "solid evidence that dust collected from residential areas near mountaintop re


And yet, even with all the clear evidence of gross disparity of harm, soi-disant liberals and leftists focus on nukes instead of the real, everyday global killer: fossil fuel extraction and use.


It’s not either-or! Stop them both!


I’d up vote your comment but my pesky browser seem to block that utility.

To answer webwalk’s comment I would reply that if activists oppose both, then why are 98% of their words written in opposition to only nuclear power (with wind probably coming in second!). Biggers commentary on MTR on Saturday got only one brief comment. Compare this to all the shrill ink poured out over the 4th anniversary of the “Fukushima disaster” - actually a tsunami disaster that killed 18,000 Japanese - the activists insultingly not mentioning this fact. The triple reactor meltdowns as of yet have not killed anybody.

And even this article is not about coal power generation - it is about a mining method that (for all its destructiveness and health effects) only represents a few percent of coal used for electric generation.

I have yet to see an article here on the environmental impacts of coal power plants themselves. But the anti-nuclear articles have been endless.

I think one reason for this is that most activists, living on the west coast or the DC/NY/Philly/Boston corridor have not as much as seen a lump of coal in their lives much less an MTR mine or the mountainous coal waste piles and slurry impoundments all mines create. And the power plants are all similarly hidden away in the oh-so unfashionable impoverished Appalachian and Ohio/Cumberland/Tennessee river basin regions. I live where I can compare a huge coal burning power plant and a nuclear plant sitting literally side-by-side across the river from Beaver, PA. I know which one I want shut down…


When Google Earth arrived on the scene it quickly became a major tool in my environmental work at specific field sites. I also use it to explore issues such as mountain top removal and the Canadian tar sands (just north of Fort McMurray), to name a couple. I hope that environmental studies teachers are employing this wonderful tool to inform the next generation of the reality of our planet. It’s not quite so pretty as it was oh so many years ago from the moon when viewed from a shorter focal length.


I know that you weren’t implying that MTR isn’t important, because the disturbed area is far out of proportion to the tonnage supplied. A particular threat to a most important part of the health of the hydraulic structure. WRT the oldest continuously running commercial nuke in the US, I don’t share your view. You’re downwind, and I’m downstream. I remember one of the worst airliner tragedies of the time scattered in the scraggy hollows just SW of Shippingport. Depending on prevailing winds, we’re both in the line of Davis-Bessie, a waiting accident unto itself. It seems the shallow Great Lakes themselves would be excellent gigantic solar and wind farms, and if a tsunami wipes them out, well at least we can return to rebuild them.


Haven’t really kept up with the new features of Google Earth, but historical photomapping was available at near current scales, though not seamlessly integrated for magnification. I’m guessing that Voloview and other Lizardtech readers were integrated into Acrobat for even easier map archiving at other sources.


Yes, I’ve looked at quite a lot of historical aerial maps going back as far in time as they are available. They are very useful in looking into land use trends.


The 2-unit Beaver Nuclear Plant is just 25 mile upwind of me. It sits in line behind a thousand other things worth worrying about. The pollution from the even bigger Bruce Mansfield coal power plant 24 miles upwind is way ahead of it in that line.

Lots of people were immediately downwind of TMI. A meltdown of half the fuel occurred. Little radiation was released and nothing bad happened to anyone. Even if that corrosion hole on the vessel lid at Davis-Besse had blown out, emergency cooling water systems would have kept prevented any meltdown short of a second highly improbable failure i.e.a simultaneous failure of both grid power to the station plus their emergency generators) happening at the same time.

I repeat this over and over again becasue nobody ever rebuts it. Do you know what risk is? Life is full of risk. The radon in your basement and the liver-cancer causing aflatoxins from naturally occurring molds in in various tasty nuts, nut butters and corn (worst carcinogen known) are a far, far bigger risk than living even next door to a nuclear power plant. Organic nuts and nut butters are the worst becasue fungicides are not used where they are stored and handled.


Insurance companies understand risk, and it is notoriously difficult for the financiers, owners and operators of Nukes to be insured. Maybe you should instruct the insurance companies on the true nature of risk. An article on progress against MTR is a launching pad for pro-nuke? WTF?